cheesy meatball skillet

I am gutted that, yet again, we’re sending a load of dross to Eurovision! Have you heard it?

It sounds like the type of ditty that would play out over a Buy as you View advert. I’m not one of these tubthumpers who claim we’ll never win Eurovision because if we sent a decent act, pumped a lot of amyl nitrates into the air and actually spent some money on publicity, we’d do well! Paul and I will still be watching it, eating our Austrian food (that’ll be our European tour country for that week) and screaming at the telly, but just once I’d like to see us succeed. Still, it’ll be a good night in front of the TV regardless.

We don’t watch a lot of TV – at least, not British TV. We used to be well into Coronation Street (rock and roll lifestyle) but that went dull, fast – and Eastenders is only decent when something big is happening, otherwise I end up trying to cut my wrists with the butter knife by the time it’s over. We’ll take in the odd documentary and we do love a good drama (for good drama, I’m talking about stuff like Lost over crap like Broadchurch – if you want to see Olivia Colman cry, watch a film called Tyrannosaurus, she’s brilliant in that). If you like reality TV but with decent production values, download a programme called The Amazing Race – UK TV doesn’t show it because we’d sooner watch tone-deaf bumholes singing on a talent show. Doctor Who is a guilty pleasure as is popcorn fodder like 24. What we DO enjoy is a good quiz show, not least because we like shouting at thick people on TV.

That said, I’d be shit on that new show, 1000 Heartbeats, where your heartbeat is monitored as you answer questions and your clock counts down faster the quicker your heart beats – I’d be so out of breath climbing the three steps up to the podium that I’d only have four seconds to answer fourteen general knowledge questions whilst getting shouted at by besuited Yorkshire lamp-post Vernon Kaye. I’d love to have a go in The Cube, but I know for an absolute fact that when they did that swooshy camera movement where it spins 360 degrees around The Cube in slow-motion, my arse-crack would be hanging out of my George boxer shorts and I’d be pulling that cum-face I usually pull when I’m concentrating – tongue half out, brow furrowed like a crinkle-cut crisp. I’ve mentioned before that Paul and I would adore the chance to go on Coach Trip, and indeed we auditioned successfully for the show, but then they took it off air for three years, perhaps hoping our clogged-up arteries would kill us off before we had a chance to get on the bus, call someone a jumped up shitbag and get asked to leave Lithuania in an armoured car.

I’d have been absolutely top at The Crystal Maze though. I say that from the comfort of my living room, admittedly, but I would have been a guaranteed two-crystal winner and that weekend canoeing in Middlesex could have been mine. Of course, no sooner was I old enough to apply, they took it off the bloody air. There’s been talk of bringing it back time and time again, including, horrifically, the idea of having Amanda Holden present in the Richard O’Brian role. Amanda Holden! A woman so pointless and personality-free that you could put a privet hedge with a crow stuck in it where she sat on Britain’s Got Talent and people would be hard-pressed to tell the difference. That’s what ruins TV – ‘celebrities’ famous for fuck all (in her case, having the dubious honour of turning down Les Dennis’ cock in favour of the unfunny one from Men Behaving Badly) taking part in shows and quizzes in lieu of decent folk from Ordinary World. Even if they somehow resist the urge to throw celebrities into the mix at every opportunity, they try and turn the ordinary folk into celebrities instead – like the gay couple from Gogglebox for example. Yep, they’re funny, but why are they in an advert with Kevin Bacon for bloody mobile phone services? Actually, why the hell is Kevin bloody Bacon in an advert for a mobile phone service? Kev, I’ve seen Footloose, you’re worth so much more!

Gosh, that was a bit of a rant. See that’s probably why they didn’t come back to us re: Coach Trip.

Anyway, it’s just a little post today because I want to spend the day with Paul as I’ve seemingly been at work since Tuesday morning. But, because we care, here’s a recipe for cheesy meatball skillet. A quick google shows that a skillet is pretty much the same as a shallow frying pan, but we’ve actually got a proper cast-iron skillet so we used that. Whatever you use, make sure it can go under the grill. Something like this would be perfect, plus you could use it for frittatas and other nonsense!


This serves four.

We used the new Slimming World meatballs (syn-free) available at Iceland and do you know, they were actually pretty decent! Nothing like proper meatballs and I’ve got a syn-free recipe for those right here. Getting quite good at this cross-linking on my blog-posts!

Also, in my tomato sauce, I added 175ml of red wine (hence the syns) but that’s only because we had dregs left over in the fridge. You can easily leave this out, but it does add a nice note to the sauce.

to make cheesy meatball skillet, you’ll need:

ingredients: meatballs (either Iceland or home-made), two tins of tomatoes, one large red onion, garlic (powder or grated (especially if you use this fancy pants microplane grater), dash of worcestershire sauce, red wine (optional), big ball of reduced fat mozzarella (65g is one healthy extra which is more than enough, but because we’re decadent bitches, we’re using 130g – that’s fine for Paul and I as it is a healthy extra each, but if it’s just you, remember mozzarella is 5 syns for 50g if you’re synning any extra). You can decorate with chopped chives, if you’re feeling poncy.

to make cheesy meatball skillet, you should:

  • cook off your meatballs in the pan – if they’re homemade, great, as they’ll release oil that you can use in the next step, but if they’re not, just keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t catch. Once they’ve cooked through, set aside
  • chop up your onion nice and fine and add that into the pan (with a tiny bit of oil if the meatballs haven’t released any) and gently soften – then add garlic, and cook a little longer
  • whack the heat up, throw in the red wine, let it deglaze the bottom of the pan and simmer off for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • add the meatballs, put it on a medium heat and let it bubble down for a bit until the sauce has thickened
  • cut the mozzarella into discs and scatter them carelessly all over the pan
  • whack it under the grill for five minutes or so until the cheese has melted, bubbling and looks ready
  • SERVE.

Have a think about what you want to serve this with – spaghetti is fine, but this would also go well with any old pasta you’ve got knocking about, or even slimming world chips and a salad. Enjoy!